Notre Dame received some public criticism from a former student after nearly 15,000 seats were left empty at the football team's home opener last weekend.
Stephen O’Neil, a Notre Dame alumnus (Class of 1987), alleged in a recent open letter that ran inThe Observer, the school's student newspaper, that exorbitant ticket prices are part of an atmosphere of elitism, leaving some fans out of luck when it came to attending the game.
“Something is wrong here,” O’Neil wrote. “A professed Catholic university that has been built on the loyalty of its local supporters, its alumni (subway and traditional) and millions of others around the country, has forgotten them.”
According to Yahoo Sports, Saturday’s game was the lowest attendance for a Notre Dame football game since the stadium was renovated and added roughly 20,000 seats back in 1997.
O’Neil went on to say that the university has become elitist, and that by limiting access to only those who can pay exorbitant ticket prices or subscribe to premium access television it is excluding a vast number of potential and past supporters.
“In politics, that is called alienating your base,” O’Neil wrote. ”In this case, it betrays a tone-deafness that you have increasingly shown towards those who have carried the University through thick and thin.”